Before the existence of same day delivery in Massachusetts and other areas of the world, there were much different modes of transportation utilized. Before trains and airlines, packages and message delivery relied on more straightforward means to get the job done – that method: animals. Because our team loves revisiting the history of our industry, we’re taking you back in time to honor the animals who started it all. An essential element to the industry, we take our hats off to these hard-working, integral pieces of the courier industry.
As one of the most commonly used methods of transportation, horses have been utilized worldwide for centuries. In both message and mail delivery, horses were held in high respect by their owners. In fact, in ancient times, horses were only used for government and military correspondences. Later in the 19th century, the Pony Express was created and serviced a large portion of the United States before the first railroad and telegraph were established.
Another animal familiar to government work is the pigeon. However, before being utilized for government and military purposes across the world, pigeons were being trained and used by the Persians. Often referred to as the “pigeon post,” these birds would travel great distances to deliver messages. For instance, the Greeks announced their Olympic victors between cities by use of the pigeon. Furthermore, pigeons were also used by stockbrokers, financiers, and news outlet sources to share updated information on the financial happenings across the globe.
The use of dogs to pull sleds dates back to early 2000 BC. With limited access to Alaska and Canada in the winter months, many American Indian cultures utilized the services of dogs to transport loads between the vast landscape. Although the practice is long outdated, sled dogs are still used in some rural communities throughout Greenland and Alaska.
Similar to dogs, reindeer were utilized throughout Alaska as a way to deliver cargo. Much like the horse, reindeer were able to carry both light and heavy loads, as well as travel long distances. Although this may seem odd today, the thought of reindeer helping to deliver packages is an old one!
Maybe the most fascinating of all delivery animals is the camel. Australia utilized camels as a mode of transportation for many years. In fact, the country accepted cameleers into their territory on signed contracts to transfer mail. However, the job was not for the light at heart, as most journeys took nearly four weeks to complete.
Fortunately, as the world revolutionized, so did the courier industry. Giving these animals the rest they deserve, technology has advanced to offer same delivery in Massachusetts via flight, truck, and ship. For more information on how the team at Fleet Couriers can meet your specific needs, contact us today at (800) 734-9309.